|Team Qatar Finishes Second In Uin Nations Cup In Khor Fakkan|
|Saturday, 31 March 2012 16:27|
KHOR FAKKAN (UAE): Team Qatar finished second overall in the UIM Nations Cup, held for the first time off the Khor Fakkan coast in the Sharjah emirate of the UAE, on Friday afternoon.
Trailing Team UAE by five points heading into the two 20-minute races on Friday, Team Qatar’s Khalid Saleh Al-Shamlan and Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari knew they would need to overcome Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashid Al-Tayer to stand any chance of claiming the UIM Nations Cup title for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).
Al-Shamlan began the first 20-lap race in determined fashion and held the initiative for nine laps before slowing with a hand injury. His demise enabled Team UAE’s Al-Mansoori and Al-Tayer to pass and Al-Mansoori reached the chequered flag in first position. Al-Tayer shadowed his Emirati Class One partner to the finish to confirm maximum points for Team UAE, as Al-Shamlan finished a disappointed third with a minor engine problem and a damaged hand.
Team Qatar’s Al-Kuwari held fourth position for much of the race, but slipped behind Team Finland’s Risto Painio near the end and was classified in fifth place.
With Al-Shamlan continuing with a suspected broken thumb and starting from third position, he was always going to struggle for success in race two. But the Qatari challenged hard and held the initiative once Al-Mansoori hit trouble. But the Team Qatar boat suffered an accident soon afterwards and Al-Tayer hit the front to take maximum points for Team UAE and confirm their UIM Nations Cup victory.
Al-Kuwari had damaged the nose cone on his boat in race one and was forced to return to the pontoon while repairs were made. He eventually started the race from the back of the field and fought his way through to finish a creditable fourth behind Al-Tayer, Painio and Team Malaysia’s Alffian bin Kadri in the unofficial results.
“Khalid (Al-Shamlan) knocked his hand during the first race and I could see blood from inside the cockpit,” said Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). “That cost us the potential win in race one, because he eased off after that. But it was important that he went back out on to the water in race two because we needed the points.
“It wasn’t meant to be this time,” added Al-Kuwari after race two. “With Khalid Al-Shamlan’s hand injury and the problems with Khalid Abdullah’s boat we were not able to win the Nations Cup, but it was a great performance from our team nonetheless and great to see them competing on equal terms with the more experienced Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashid Al-Tayer. It will be our turn to win next time!”
Al-Kuwari had set the eighth fastest time of the boats that took to the water in Friday afternoon’s free practice session. Al-Shamlan skipped the session that was won by Team Finland’s Risto Painio with a quickest lap of 51.79s.
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